Fresh Capital

You Jelly? Jack Dorsey, Al Gore, Bono Invest in Biz Stone’s Stealth Startup

They'll also STING YOUR FACE OFF. (Photo: Flickr, Garrett Rooney)

Biz Stone’s mysterious new startup, Jelly, has just closed a Series A.

An announcement on the company’s Tumblr didn’t disclose the total amount raise, but revealed that Spark Capital raised the round, with SV Angel piling on, as well.

Also participating are several individual investors who, we can only assume, were rounded up in the parking lot of last year’s TED conference: Jack Dorsey, Bono, Al Gore, LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman, Where Good Ideas Come From author Steven Johnson, Evan Williams and Jason Goldman, House (?!) director Greg Yaitanes, and Afghan entrepreneur Roya Mahboob. Read More

Nope

LinkedIn Forced Its Employees to Celebrate “Cinco de LinkedIn” for Its 10th Birthday

This happened. (Photo: Flickr)

Looks like LinkedIn cofounder Reid Hoffman is just using any excuse to get shitfaced. In honor of the company’s tenth birthday, he created “Cinco de LinkedIn,” a real company event celebrated by its 3,700 employees.

Not only does it sound moderately offensive, like drunk-sorority-girl-loudly-practicing-her-Spanish-at-Blockheads obnoxious, but it is also numerically nonsensical. At last check, cinco is roughly translated to “five” and not “terrible fucking idea.” Read More

Political Animals

Mark Zuckerberg’s Stealth Political PAC Is Reportedly Raising $50 Million

Happy Holiday$! (Photo: ITechBook.net)

The Wall Street Journal has unearthed more details about the Silicon Valley political advocacy group first reported by The San Francisco Chronicle.

Mark Zuckerberg–fresh off his fundraiser for Republican governor Chris Christie!–is working on launching the group, along with his close friend Joe Green, a former Harvard University roommate. Mr. Green was previously involved with NationBuilder.com and Causes.com and is now an entrepreneur-in-residence at Andreessen Horowitz. (As we noted last fall, founder Marc Andreessen himself contributed exclusively to a number of Republican campaigns, after previously supporting Clinton-Gore.)

But the tech and Republican connections don’t stop there. Read More

Summits

LinkedIn Cofounder Reid Hoffman Kicks Off the 2012 Guardian Activate Summit

Mr. Hoffman and Mr. Jarvis

Betabeat is reporting today from the Guardian Activate Summit, a meeting of the minds thrown by British newspaper The Guardian to discuss technology and media. The presentations at this year’s summit were interrupted by a loud, unbelievably annoying jackhammer that continuously pounded from below. You could feel the ground of the Paley Center for Media shake as the audience struggled to ignore it and focus on the speakers, but this reporter doesn’t even have ADHD and found it incredibly distracting. Jeff Jarvis, director of CUNY’s Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism, joked that it helped score the beat of the conversation. Read More

Blog Lords

Mike Arrington Introduces Us to the “First F*cking Amendment”

Mr. Arrington flashes his "first amendment" gang sign.

Betabeat published a story yesterday about the ways in which tech investors who write about private companies on public blogs might run afoul of SEC regulations. It focused, naturally, on Mike Arrington, who saw the post around 2 a.m. this morning and responded with this tweet:

“Screw that. Let me introduce you to the first fucking amendment to our constitution.”

Mr. Arrington failed to provide any links to the first amendment, but luckily, Betabeat had spent yesterday afternoon conversing with Prof. John Coffee of Columbia University, one of the foremost experts on securities law in the nation. Read More

Blog Lords

Venture Capitalists With Powerful Blogs May Run Afoul of the SEC

Image via BacktoGeek

Has Blogging Become the New Insider Trading?

“People think there is a distinction between how an major investor can talk about a public company versus a private company,” said Ralph Ferrara, former General Counsel for the SEC. “But if you read the law carefully, you see that everything that you can do wrong when combining a public company with the media applies to investments in private companies as well.”

Michael Arrington wanted to have it all. The editor-in-chief of TechCrunch, the nation’s most powerful tech blog, had, except for a brief hiatus, invested his own money in the companies he covered. The move always prompted a bit of grumbling in the blogosphere, but nothing he couldn’t handle.

Then Mr. Arrington decided to go bigger. He tapped Silicon Valley’s royalty to raise a $10 million pool he dubbed CrunchFund. Read More